Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,824 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,824
Hads: 10,258
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 222
Gots: 2,098 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001

Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,824 | Hads: 10,258
Photo of ithacabaron
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original Review, 2003.

12 oz. stubbie, into a pint glass, alongside a 3 pound homemade turkey sandwich...mmmm.

This beer pours a burnished, golden amber in the glass. Aroma is fresh cascade hops all the way. The initial taste is almost like sucking on a cascade hop leaf, the flavors are so bright and simple and singular -- but there is a generous portion of malt that backs it up, balancing the beer perfectly.

The malt profile is what makes this such an excellent session beer. While it supports the hops, it never becomes overbearing, allowing the appriciator to sip many of these in one session. Additionally, the freshness of the hops makes this beer perfect for cleansing the palate in-between bites of food.

If I weren't a poor college student, I'd keep a sixer of this in my refridgerator all the time. Seems like it would be an excellent beer to convert macro drinkers with.

---

Re-review, July 2011. Numbers adjusted appropriately.

Pours a fantastic copper with soft orange highlights. A nice foamy head soon settles down to a thin cap. Excellent lacing appears down the side of the glass.

Aroma is soft and mild, mellow malt, fresh grass, dill, and candied grapefruit peel.

Taste expands into a buttery, smooth, golden syrup. At the end of the swallow, a firm (but not harsh) dimple of bitterness appears, a whisper of freshly squeezed citrus, a hint of pine sap. There's an immediate invitation -- but not a necessity -- to take another sip. Wondrous.

Mouthfeel is appropriately pillowy, a cascade (ha!) of warm surf.

This beer has held-up through the test of time; if anything, the ever-expanding palate of choices -- it seems like a new craft brewery opens every week -- has only magnified how excellent this brew is. More importantly, Sierra Nevada hasn't dumbed their Pale Ale down over time. This is, and remains, THE platonic ideal of American Pale Ale.

Inevitable, inescapable, all but perfect. (1,927 characters)

Photo of iskivolkl
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is fair, my bottle did not pour an exceptional head, and It did not last terribly long either. The beer is a nice clear amber color with a very minimal amount of haze.

Smell has a mild aromatic hoppyness, not a very complex aroma overall.

Taste provides a nice balance of a bitter hop taste with a citrus wash to follow.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, provides a good tingly feeling on the tongue.

An easily drinkable beer in any situation, all of the flavors are very up front, making for a beer that can be truly enjoyed without lots of thought. (564 characters)

Photo of yeagerbm
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic beer. Haven't had this one in a while so I thought it was time to review it.
Appearance- Bright orange with a smooth white head.
Smell- Hops and malt. The kind of smell that lets you know this beer was dry-hopped and will be delicious.
Taste- I had this beer before and knew that it was good. Now I come back to it after trying hundreds of good beers and I see that it is nearly perfect. A delicious aromatic hop experience which is balanced by a great malt flavor. This beer is not extreme. It is wonderfuly flavorful and easy to drink. I don't know if I'll ever give a beer all 5's or if that beer even exists but I don't know if a pale ale can get a better taste than this.

A+ with a smiley face! (717 characters)

Photo of paulisme
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've chosen Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for my first review because it's my favorite all-around beer. This one never fails to satisfy; I just love the strong and distinct taste of this beer. It pours a nice copper color with a thin head which doesn't hang around long. Both aroma and taste have hints of citrus. Finishes with a nice, slightly bitter aftertaste. This is the pale ale by which I judge all others; I've yet to find a better one among the dozen or so I've tasted. If you live in the Southeast US, try this beer with the chicken fingers and Zax sauce from Zaxby's. It's one of my favorite food/beer combinations. (619 characters)

Photo of Illusionist_Ryan
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pale amber, unfiltered with some particles, thick and bubbly 1 inch white head with a bit of lacing.

Smell: Some bread notes, but mostly piney and earthy tones

Taste: Very piney and floral initial taste, solid mouthfeel that coats your tongue in malt, very smooth and refreshing, great session brew

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied for a pale

Overall: A staple beer, classic taste that balances every flavor in harmony. I prefer it from the can and it is my go to pale ale.

Serving type: can (500 characters)

Photo of IronLover
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had countless bottles of SNPA in the past, but never did a review of it. Bought a case of it shortly after trying it for the first time. I guess I can call this beer my "gateway" craft beer. It opened my eyes to how good beer could really be. So after getting a kegerator, and finding out the local distributor carries an awesome variety of sixtels, I had to christen my kegerator with SNPA.

Pours a crystal clear deep yellow with a hint of orange. Big foamy white head that takes until the last few mouthfuls to disappear. Lots of sticky lacings. Taste and aroma is a perfect balance of sweet malt and citrus hops. Creamy smooth with perfect carbonation. This 5 gallon keg is not gonna last long. Thanks Sierra Nevada! (725 characters)

Photo of chetripley
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

What can be said that hasn't already? Clear pour, medium head, deliciousness in a glass.
What all American Pale Ales strive for.
Consistency bottle after bottle.
I have compared SN to many and they don't stack up to it.
If there is a complaint about it I have to say the smell is slightly off-not bad, just not biscuity or malty like I would expect out of any lager/ale offering.
Can and will drink anytime. Always in my fridge. (429 characters)

Photo of jwellborn
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A long time classic that I have yet to review.

Poured in to a Pint Glass.

Appearance- Pours a coppery/gold with lots of bubbles and about a 1 inch head with good retention. Looks yummy. Also slight amounts of lace on the way down

Smell- Hops and slight pine smells. Nothing too big or overpowering. Maybe my nose is broken.

Taste- Up front hops fade to malty goodness as the brew makes its way to the back of my mouth. More woody/pine flavor is detected. I love the way the hops hit fast then even out to leave a clean palate.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth. Not too light, but enough to let you know its there and then gone. Crisp and once again smooth. Good carbonation.

Drinkability- Man, this is one drinkable beer. I feel I could easily down a sixer of these and keep rolling. I would say a good transition beer. You could go either way from here, either more malty or hoppy.

Notes- From growing up in CA, Sierra Nevada has always been near the top of my list as far as breweries. It's impressive to see how much they've grown and good on them for continuing to make great beer on such a large scale. Overall an outstanding beer that you would not want to miss. (1,165 characters)

Photo of Augustiner719
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Orange yellowish crystal clear color. Large 2.5 finger head that leaves behind epic lacing and retains itself for a long time. Almost a reddish orange color with some yellow hues in it. Truely perfect.

Smell: Smells like extracted hop oils, grapefruit and has a orange zest/lemon zest oily aroma. Great fresh pinecone aroma, slightly woody, but has a nice balanced aroma and the hops arent too overpowering.

Taste: Tastes incredibly smooth and pure. you get a real sense of the craft beer industry when drinking this beer. Its got a homemade, earthy and rustic essence to it, yet it is remarkably consistant each batch. Good firm hops in the forefront and the palate is smoothed out by nice caramelly malts. The hops are sweet and slightly sticky. Grapefruit, wood, and a nice lemon peel component come through.

Mouthfeel: perfect carbonation. the beer finishes slightly dry which is great after the hops from the beer make you pucker up. completely balanced and smooth on the palate and in my opinion a style leader for sure.

Drinkability: this is the most sessionable and consistant pale ale out there. its one on its own and every other pale ale should strive to compete with this one because its setting the bar very high. (1,242 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After just finishing a McEwan's IPA, I just found myself in heaven. An magnificant orangish tint, with a nice white frothing head. A very thin lace, but right now it doesn't matter I am too busy enjoying the aroma to worry about how it looks. I could be blind right now and it wouldn't matter. A great citrusy full sharp delivery of wonderful cascade hops fiil me with joy. The staple of American pale ales, and this one is bottle conditioned which adds to the aroma to form a balanced full aroma with the blend of hops, yeast, and malt. The sweetness mixed with the decent amount of bittering hops does wonders for the soul, if the brewery in Chico had a church I might become a cult member. The hops are grapefruit citrusy flavored that tickle the back of the throat and at the same time the warming feeling of acohol crashes upon the palate just right. It is full of flavor and it is just the right texture to deliver the flavors, and it with the medium body this beer is one to be enjoyed all night. A wonderful part of Beer in America has this BAs approval. (1,062 characters)

Photo of SpecialK088
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Delirum Snifter

A-Pours a light golden color with little head and almost no lacing other than right at the edge
S-Very hoppy with a slight citrus hint
T-the hops come across immediatly with a very subtle citrus flavor leaves a very good flavor in the finish.
M-Extremly smooth with a very good level of carbonation.
D-Very easy to drink i could easily see myself having them on a regular basis (422 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh, boy, where to start... This is a very good hoppy beer for someone who is not partial to hoppy beers- that's how good it is. Pours a nice dark golden color with a small off-white head. Aroma is floral, slight citrus, and nice hops. The flavor is its best aspect (that's a good thing) and very enjoyable. The smooth flavors follow through with pine and herbal-oily notes. The hops are present throughout the taste, but end very nicely. Moderate clean mouthfeel with some creaminess, but not as much as some others I have had. Leaves a bitter aftertaste that just begs to be covered up by some more SNPA. This is my first 5.0 on drinkability (642 characters)

Photo of adpietsc
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is simply one of the best in its class. It is a delicious American pale ale. It is highly drinkable and tastes very good. The hop taste really stands out in this beer. One could drink this beer all night with no regrets. Another thing that is good about this beer is the price. It is very affordable for its style. Cheers! (332 characters)

Photo of metallistout
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I usually don't like to give fives, but this is one of my favorite beers.
Pours a light amber color with a nice thick head that will stick around.
Smells strong of hops.
Taste is a mild malt with a very dominate of citrus hops(this is what I love about this beer)

This is one of the best beers of its style and any time that I try an American Pale Ale, I always compare it to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Whenever I do this I notice that none of them are as good as this drink here. (484 characters)

Photo of jcompton
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: light brownish with a small hint of red. head quickly disappears. good lacing around the pint glass

smell: the wonderful smell of cascade hops tingles the nose the nose

taste: hop forward with a nice balance of malt. the aftertaste stays on the palate. not too bitter, not too sweet. this is the pale ale in which i grade all other pale ales against.

mouthfeel: just enough carbonation to ensure a good drink, but not too much to ruin the brew

drinkability: thank you sir, can i have another?

This is a beer that never disappoints. i often look over this beer at the store while searching for something else. but then once i get home a pour this beautiful concoction into a welcoming glass i realize the reliable snpa will always be inviting when i call her name! (781 characters)

Photo of RoadLizard
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange-ish color with a fairly chunky head and decent lacing. This beer smelled very good to me. Lively floral odors. Yum.

Excellent "upfront" hop-bite that becomes calming as it goes down. Slight maltiness at the end of the swig mixed with a little orange peel bitterness for some complexity. This is a beer that happens to be very drinkable & pleasant.

Packs a decent alcohol punch so enjoy it in moderation :)

Simply a GREAT Pale Ale!!!! (443 characters)

Photo of brewski101
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drink this one on a fairly regular basis - mostly on tap but sometimes bottled. Good thing that it is widely available. The color is always consistent. Aroma could almost be trademarked. Taste of the hops is well balanced by any residual maltiness. Very approachable. Good anytime (280 characters)

Photo of bigdeuce
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sometimes, after drinking all kinds of fancy porters, stouts, wits, hefes, IPA's, belgians and germans, you just have to go back to where it all began. Every so often, I have to buy this beer, it's in my blood. Classic looking APA, straw colored with an outstanding smell. This beer is like potato chips, can't just have one. Washes down with a smooth, hoppy goodness. Extremely smooth and crisp, with slight grapefruit flavoring. Nice head leaves some lacing down the glass. Hey, it can't get much better than a Sierra Nevada APA on a hot day! (544 characters)

Photo of darklordlager
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep golden colour, with nice 1/2" head that retains.

Smell is of grapefruit, citrus, lemon, some pale malt.

Taste is a smack in the face of fresh hops, as it moves along the palate the flavours subtly change and blend, joining in a symphony of refreshment. Starts out fruity, and move along to a pleasant flowery taste, with a little bite.

Mouthfeel is right where it should be for a sessionable pale ale.

Highly Drinkable. Refreshing. Tasty. (459 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can't believe I have not reviewed this beer yet as I have had it many times. What makes this a touchstone among so many beerlovers. It is the blend between easy drinking and hoppy complexity. This beer has lots of interesting nuances for the sipper but goes well with food and mowing the grass. Along with Liberty Ale by Anchor Steam this beer helped define the American Pale Ale. What also is a bonus is the availibility of this beer even in gas stations and supermarkets. (475 characters)

Photo of BeerBob
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

All aboard for the hops flavor train!

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is exuding floral hops form the nose, from the palate, and after taste, and maybe into the after life.

Pours a golden amber from a 12oz bottle. Carbonation is fair, and leaves one to wonder what it would be like if the cap weren't a twist off.

The next time I drink this Beer, I’m going to do a roast duck with an orange sauce, the two should pair up eminently.

Aromatics abound from Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and you will be bound to try this marvelous brew again. (539 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All hail the king of pale ales! This is great stuff - hands down. Pours nicely, deep gold with a bit of copper in the color, and one of the best aromas I've ever smelled in a beer; very full and fruity. Head fluffed up nice and high, all the way to top of my pint glass. All this before the first sip!

Very smooth mouthfeel, almost buttery with just a touch of lemon. The right amount of hops counterbalances a wonderful base almost perfectly. Slight amount of haze even a few minutes after the pour from the yeast that was on the bottom of the bottle. Very simple, and yet very complex at the same time. Smooth, hoppy, and a flagship for pale ales. Simply amazing! (668 characters)

Photo of searsclone
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint glass. Copper gold color with good head. The hop etching in the bottom of the glass is attacked by the carbonation causing a steady stream of bubbles up the center of the beer.

Smells of fruit and bread

Tastes citrus, bread, and hops. Finish is super clean and leaves a bit of a grapefruit aftertaste. Alcohol is really well hidden.

Crisp and clean mouthfeel, extremely drinkable.

In my opinion, one of the best pale ales out there and it is easy to find. (513 characters)

Photo of ebraun
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My new favorite pale ale. The perfect balance of hops, sweetness and citrus. The rust colored brew seemed a little weak on the nose... but it's Texas in Spring so it could be my nose that's the problem. The beer itself was pleasantly herbal and peppery. For me the finish on the beer seemed to mimic a big slice of grapefruit, it was really wonderful. (353 characters)

Photo of darkmartin
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours to a clear golden brown with a heavy, thick tan head. Thick, sticky layer of lacing.

Smell: Smells very yeasty with some faint citrus hops.

Taste: Intensely complex flavor is initially quite shocking. The aroma suggests a fairly simple brew of yeast and citrus hops. However, the taste reveals an initial fruity, malty dependence that yields to a moderately bitter series of citrus hops that eventually give way to a dry, clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied beer that feels very clean in the mouth.

Drinkability: The beautiful golden color with an intimidating head, and the complex flavors presented in the taste, create an absolutely excellent pale ale. This will be kept in my fridge as often as it is sold. (735 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,824 ratings.